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Michael S. Nolan / SpecialistStock
A pair of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) on multi-year ice floes (these two are probably recently weaned siblings) in the Barents Sea off the eastern coast of Edge¯ya (Edge Island) in the Svalbard Archipelago, Norway. An adult male weighs around 400-680 kg (880-1, 500 lb) while an adult female is about half that size. The IUCN now lists global warming as the most significant threat to the polar bear, primarily because the melting of its sea ice habitat reduces its ability to find sufficient food. The IUCN states, "If climatic trends continue polar bears may become extirpated from most of their range within 100 years." On May 14, 2008, the United States Department of the Interior listed the polar bear as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act
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